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A blog post without a human voice or a little humor is about as welcoming to read as a dictionary. When readers stumble upon blogs, they’re much more likely to stick around if the writing is entertaining, lighthearted, and friendly. More reasons to overhaul a stiff blog? Satisfied readers often share posts and sign up for newsletters, too.
Imagine writing a DIY blog post on building a shanty-style doghouse. Although you may want to use a catchy headline, like “Cool Digs for Cool Dogs,” readers could misinterpret the play on words and bypass your post. Get straight to the point with a title like “Full Plans for a Shanty-Style Doghouse,” telling anyone in search of breezy housing for their pooch exactly what to expect. Or, cleverly mix the two options with something like “Shanty-Style Doghouse: Cool Digs for Cool Dogs.”
As bloggers, it’s no secret we have just seconds to hook or captivate readers, once they arrive at our online homes. So, don’t risk losing your guests by starting your story with a mundane fact, like this: “Birthday cakes need candles.” Scrap a sad lead sentence for an interesting tidbit of information or an intriguing question that makes your guests hungry for more, like, “Ever wonder why we put candles on birthday cakes?”
Some topics are drier than others, but they don’t have put readers to sleep. Say you have a landscaping business, and you created a blog post about caring for a lawn. In general, lawn care is a yawn, so this post might increase your site’s bounce rate. To avoid this, put in the effort and make the topic less daunting:
- Replace an overused word, such as lawn, with related terms like grass, yard, or plot.
- Cut paragraphs to just three or four sentences.
- Start each section with a hook-like sentence.
- End sections with sentences that hint at what’s next.
- Support your facts with credible sources.
When you state facts that your audience might question, link to credible external sources that prove you know your topic. High-quality external links also improve your ranking in search results.
Even if you think you’re not funny, there’s hope, says Marc Ensign, leadership speaker and personal-brand adviser, on the SmartBlogger website. Some of Ensign’s tips:
- Exaggerate in a big way, so that it’s obvious humor. After all, recipe blog readers won’t actually believe that traditional pizza-making requires a wood-fired oven stoked to 5 zillion degrees.
- Use metaphors. Describe something figuratively, using symbolism or comparison to keep your story out of the blogging wasteland, where dull posts go to die.
- Borrow material. If you struggle to come up with anything humorous on your own, it’s okay to borrow a meme, GIF, or quote, as long as you avoid copyright issues, explains TheLawTag.
Blogging should be as effortless as talking to a good friend. As you edit each draft, rework the bits that sound dull. If you wrote a blog post about your past job as a garbage truck driver, for instance, make sure to create a connection, showing readers there’s a human behind the screen. Be honest about the smells (good opportunity for a metaphor here); funny or difficult interactions with others; or the exuberance you felt when you were promoted to supervisor and a childhood bully took over your route.
Build your brand and develop blogging relationships by wrapping up each post with an encouraging question or challenge and a specific call to action, such as a share button.
Now that you know how to make your posts more engaging, why not learn how to adopt a realistic blogging pace?